Tan Tan: From a garden watered by running water to a barren wasteland looking for drops of water (Morocco)

YRE Competition 2018
19-21 years old

"Malika, (35 years old), leaves her bed at the crack of dawn, and she moves quickly while she is still falling asleep, towards the water tap installed in the entrance hall. Bottles of 5, 10 and 30 liters are put near the water tap waiting for drops of water. Most of the time, Malika, who lives in Sheikh Abdati neighborhood, waits for long hours without succeeding to fill these bottles and barrels with drinking water, a suffering which is repeated every day and becomes more complicated with the coming of every summer. "

City connected to water

"It is said that one of the nomads was lost in the Moroccan Sahara until he got thirsty, he was about to die. He searched for a well of water to satiate his thirst and that of his cattle but did not find it, continued to search with all hope to have a drop of water, passed near a lot of dried up wells. He went on walking until he reached a very deep well, he could not see anything in it, he doubted about it, he threw a small stone into the well and heard the sound of the stone dangling with water, making a sound like "Tantana". So, he named this well "tanatina" Which will later become the first nucleus of a city that will take its name, It is "Tan Tan", a coastal city located between Guelmim and Tarfaya. Passengers traveling to the south or north must pass through this city, that's why it is called the city of "transit", its population reached 73.209 thousand people.

The establishment of "Tan Tan" was associated with water, because without this well, there wouldn't be any constructions or buildings. There were many wells that were established by the population of this city. Its fresh water was highly appreciated by its users. Decades ago, when the city was under construction, the water-laden carts were roaming the streets to sell water to the population. At that time, the price of water was very cheap. After that, the residents connected their homes to the potable water network, benefited and were supplied with water at low prices. The population did not know that this water will dry up one day.

A city that exports water

When visiting the cities of the southern provinces, including Laayoune, Smara, Boujdour, Tarfaya or even Dakhla, you will remark water tank selling water to the inhabitants of these provinces. People prefer to buy water from these trucks because of its high quality. And when you look more at these tanker trucks, you find the words written very clearly "water of Tan Tan". This name has become a brand associated with water quality of this region. Demand for water in this area becomes a source of profit for a number of truckers who prefer this kind of trade. A few years ago, a factory was established to fill various sizes of bottles with this water and sell it in different cities of the Kingdom.

The beginning of the crisis ... the end of the drop of water

Almost two years ago, these water taps installed in houses were no longer supplied with water at any moment because of the successive interruptions during the day. But sometimes, these interruptions continued for many days. At first, the inhabitants did not care about the matter. They thought that this problem would disappear after a short period. But in fact, these interruptions were caused by the diminution of the well water. The city suffered from a suffocating crisis that threatens the future of generations. The groundwater of this area has been depleted for many years and the wells in the region of "Taassalt" are no longer sufficient to meet the growing needs of the inhabitants.

The Arabs say, "Ironing is the last medicine." Officials of the National agency for Drinking Water tried to save the city from thirst engendered by the overuse of water. This attempt involves the construction of two seawater desalination plants. The first was established in 2003, and the second in 2014.

To know how desalination plant operates, we visited "Khank Lahmam" plant, which supplies the city with drinking water. The water quality engineer Mustafa Adenani says that this plant operates according to the "reverse osmosis technology", which passes through four processes, including pre-treatment, which remove plankton and impurities, then the stage of treatment, which is done by high pressure to separate salts from water, because water Extracted from the holes in the region of "Ras Omlil" is salty by an average of 4 and 5 grams per liter. The obtained filtered water is added to a percentage of salt water to restore balance. The plant produces a total of 35 liters per second of safe drinking water stored into four water tanks with a capacity of 3,000 cubic meters, to which is added chlorine solution of 0.5 mg / l.

Awareness is the solution

After the suffering experienced by the inhabitants of "Tan Tan" due to the depletion of wells, and after many attempts to solve this problem, it became necessary to think of "raising awareness" of the importance of water among the youngest generation. This sense should be translated into behavior and practice. The waste of water is a violation of the right of future generations to live in a stable world. This natural wealth is a common property that should be preserved.

  YRE field visit to the desalination plant “Khank lhmam”

YRE field visit to the desalination plant “Khank lhmam”

Morocco 2.JPG
 Water tank selling water

Water tank selling water

Written by students from Morocco.